September 29, 2012

Seeing the LePage Effect: Republican candidates aren't campaigning with governor

Polls showing LePage has tenuous support from voters may keep legislative hopefuls from asking for his help.

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

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Gov. Paul LePage got approval ratings ranging from 37 percent to 47 percent in three recent polls. In a fourth poll, 7 percent named him when asked what they were most concerned about when thinking of Maine’s future.

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In the Public Policy Polling survey, only somewhat conservative and very conservative voters approved of LePage. Only 35 percent of independents approved. Nearly 60 percent of self-identified moderates disapproved.

Only 29 percent of women approved of LePage, while 46 percent of men did. Similarly, women were much more likely than men to support a Democratic candidate in 2014. Men actually favor LePage by a 48-41 margin over a generic Democrat.

The age breakdown is telling, too. Voters aged 18 to 45 supported LePage over a generic Democrat in 2014, but voters 46 and older overwhelmingly would vote for a Democrat.

"In local races especially, Mainers always look past the party and look at the person, so it's more important that our candidates are out there meeting with voters," Reinholt said.

Brewer said Republicans may be reluctant to align themselves with LePage the person as opposed to LePage's accomplishments, but many can run on the accomplishments of the 125th Legislature without mentioning the governor.

"He and Republicans got a huge amount of what they wanted. They were enormously successful in terms of sheer policy accomplishments," he said.

If Democrats take one or both of the legislative chambers, Brewer said LePage would not be nearly as successful in his third and fourth years as he was in his first two.

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:


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